I remember the day when the media channels were flooded by the news of rape victim Asifa. Asifa Bano an 8-year-old girl, not less than a chirping bird, in a purple attire grazing her horses in a beautiful meadow, was brutally gang-raped and murdered in Rasana village, Kathua. She went missing on 10th January and her family was living in a village around 72 km east of Jammu city. Asifa went to the woods to bring home the horses. The horses returned but she was evanesced like a perfume. Her heartbroken mother, Naseema informed her husband about the incident. Armed with lanterns, flashlights, and axes, Asifa’s father along with some neighbors started looking for her. But unfortunately, they could not find her. Two days later, on 12th Jan the family filed a police complaint, but the police were not helpful. As the news of crime spread, Gujjar community staged protests, with the prime purpose of making police officials assigned for search operation. Five days later, Asifas body was found. She had been tortured with broken legs. Her nails had turned black with blue and red marks on her arms and fingers. Asifa was confined in a local temple for several days and given sedatives that kept her unconscious. She was raped for days and finally murdered. She was strangled to death and then hit on the head twice with a stone. How can a person rape in a place that is for the worship of God? I am sure whoever commits such crime in a place like temple is not a Hindu, but a monster. The most shocking is that how can a senior citizen and an old retired government official (Sanji Ram) allegedly planned the crime with the help of police officials Surender Verma, Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Khajuria. The rape accused wished to terrorize the Gujjar community into leaving Jammu for the sake of land. If it was about land, ok we can think about it but to rape and kill someone, how can it be justified. The filthiest part of this case was not allowing the Gujjars to bury the body of baby Asifa. The Gujjars wanted to bury her in a graveyard where they had purchased some land a few years ago and had already buried five people. But unfortunately, when they arrived, they were surrounded by Hindu right-wing activists and threatened them with violence. The unaided family then walked seven miles to bury the mortal remains of Asifa in another village. The most ironic part was the street protests, held by the lawyers and some political parties in support of rape accused. Even they threatened people who stand in support of Asifa. Our chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti few days ago tweeted that “we will never let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make a death penalty mandatory for raping minors”. Rape is such a heinous crime that makes a women terrorized physically, mentally and emotionally. Rape is completely forbidden in Islamic law and is a crime punishable by death. Islam takes very seriously the honour and protection of women, and the Quran repeatedly reminds men to treat women with kindness and fairness. So, no new law is required to be enacted against rape accused. We must raise questions to CM and all the political parties of J&K about their so-called laws that have been implemented in Kashmir regarding the previous rape incidents like Kunan Poshpora, Asiya and Neelofar’s case. If it had been a case of cow slaughter the Govt must have acted spontaneously, because in India cows are more sacred than women and people are getting lynched to protect cows. But women’s safety is neglected and violence against women is rising. Isn’t it a communal propaganda by the Govt of India? If Govt of India can provide justice to Nirbhaya why not Asifa, Neelofar and Asiya. In India girls are not even safe in diapers now. Soon we will be seeing our mothers and daughters wearing cow face masks for their protection. It’s really disgusting that the political parties of Jammu & Kashmir are making this case a political issue. Indians always feel proud of their culture, tradition and diversity of different religions but nowadays because of hate mongers, country India is totally in shambles. It’s a country where a father rapes his daughter, where women’s are treated like a piece of meat, where people are killed for the sake of mother cow, where criminals are MPs and MLAs. As per the report of Hindustan Times and The Hindu, BJP has highest no of MLAs and MPs with cases of crime against women, including alleged rape and abduction. Recently, the Union Cabinet cleared a stringent ordinance on Saturday providing for lengthy jail terms and even the death penalty for sex offenders convicted for raping girls below the age of 12 years while the punishment for the gang rape of a victim below 16 will be imprisonment for life, but what about the adult rape victim, is there any difference between sexual assault of minors and adults? How can the populace of India trust the present Govt, because they are the people who preach hatred against muslims, who want to rape dead muslim women, isn’t it beyond shocking. Rape victims commonly report injuries and issues with their reproductive health but it doesn’t always involve physical force. The most common and lasting effects of sexual assault involve mental health concerns and diminished social confidence. The major physical consequences of rape are painful intercourse, urinary infections, uterine fibroids, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhoea and Chlamydia. Talking about the psychological effects of rape, the most common consequence is self blame. Other common emotional and psychological effects include Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), flashbacks, Borderline personality disorder, sleep disorders, eating disorders, Dissociative identity disorder, guilt, distrust of others, anger and depression. The aftermath of rape involves a cluster of acute and chronic physical and psychological effects. It’s important that victims receive comprehensive care that addresses both the short and long-term effects of rape as they become apparent. Victims of extremely violent rape, or those who were assaulted repeatedly or at a very young age, may need treatment for the rest of their lives.
It’s time to pull our socks up and be united like a family so that we can protect our nation, our mothers and daughters from such ogres. Respect women and perceive her innocence in the form of a daughter, her concern in the form of a sister, devotion in the form of a wife, warmth in the form of a friend, divinity in the form of a mother and blessing in the form of a grandmother.
Dr. Abrar Ul Haq Wani is a Ph.D. Scholar Dept. of Veterinary Medicine, SKUAST K